Manafort juror says holdout prevented full conviction

Posted August 26, 2018

"He saw the conviction of a former campaign chairman on tax fraud, being Paul Manafort, and then Michael Cohen was going to be, and could possibly have been indicted for similar charges of tax fraud and bank fraud", Davis said.

Now, three of those counts were for failing to report foreign bank accounts.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III read the note, which indicated that the jury had reached a verdict on eight counts but remained deadlocked on 10 others despite an admonition earlier in the day from the judge to keep working toward unanimous verdicts.

When the jury was done, Manafort sat back down with his lawyers.

"We're supposed to assume he's innocent and therefore he does not need to defend himself, and the judge made that very clear, that there is no requirement for him to do so".

Manafort's defense team grasped onto the hubbub nearly immediately, asking Ellis to declare a mistrial and to toss a juror for being untruthful.

Manafort's guilty verdict may strengthen Mueller's hand as he continues to investigate possible conspiracy and seeks an interview with the president; an acquittal could have led to a broader effort by conservatives to shut down the special counsel's office. Prosecutors have until August 29 to decide whether they will seek a retrial on the 10 counts where the jury hung.

Trump said "flipping" in this way should be illegal and told "Fox & Friends" host Ainsley Earhardt that Cohen was just doing it because prosecutors gave him a "great deal".

The transcripts reveal the reasons for a lengthy secret hearing held during the middle of Manafort's trial, which been sealed until after the conclusion of the longtime political consultant's trial this week. He plead not guilty to all the charges.

However, Politico is now reporting that Trump is expected to go "rogue" in the near future to offer a full pardon to his ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

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On Wednesday, he tweeted in support of Manafort while criticizing Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a bank and two campaign finance violations: willfully causing an illegal corporate contribution and making an excessive campaign contribution. She said jurors ultimately found consensus on eight counts, but could not move the holdout off her position. Manafort has another trial scheduled for next month in Washington, D.C. They convicted on one count of failing to file a foreign bank account report and two counts of bank fraud.

The verdict announced Tuesday comes as President Trump has stepped up his criticism of Mueller's probe, publicly criticizing the investigation on a weekly basis.

She said neither positive nor negative sentiments about Trump influenced the decision.

But the trial was the first to emerge from Mueller's probe, and as such it marked a significant public test of his work.

In an interview, Duncan described an emotional ordeal over four days in which panel members attempted to persuade an unidentified colleague of the overwhelming evidence against Manafort.

Prosecutors accused Manafort of hiding from U.S. tax authorities $16 million he earned as a political consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle and then lying to banks to secure $20 million in loans after his Ukrainian income dried up and he needed cash. Paul Manafort is 69 years old and he's sentenced on those eight convictions already that could send him to prison for the rest of his life.

Central to the government's case were depictions of an opulent lifestyle, including a $15,000 ostrich jacket, luxury suits and elaborate real estate that prosecutors say was funded through offshore wire transfers from shell companies in Cyprus and elsewhere. Manafort's lawyers repeatedly suggested their client might not have known the law. "For 30, 40 years I've been watching flippers".

This also isn't the end of Manafort's legal troubles.

Manafort faces a second trial in September in Washington, District of Columbia, on charges he failed to register as a lobbyist for the Ukraine government, and conspired to tamper with witnesses in that case.

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